A Dead-set Legend
Interesting couple of visits with that legend of Australian cricket, David Boon. We launched the 40 Hour Famine at Westfield Sports High School in Sydney, and at Caulfield Grammar in Melbourne. Two schools with quite different cultures, but similar enthusiasm for World Vision.
Neither event might rate a mention in the official history of the 20th Century, but we should not underestimate the impact of a person like Boonie coming to a school and showing his interest and concern in issues of global poverty and real solutions.
As I watched the students standing in the sun, shifting their weight from one hip to another as time passed, fidgeting with the helium-filled balloons, and portraying all the desultory inattention of teenagers from time immemorial, I found myself wondering if I could remember any address ever made at an assembly at any High School I attended.
I realised I could remember one. And one alone.
It was the day that the Australian cricket legend came to my school. Not Boon or Border, but Benaud.
Not only can I remember standing shiftily in the sun at Parramatta High, but I clearly recall the image of Richie Benaud, Australian cricket team captain, swaggering up to the microphone and uneasily delivering his speech.
I even remember what he said. He talked about the values of true cricket. Playing fair. Being patient. Always accepting the decision of the umpire.
Out of all the millions of words of advice and learning delivered in hundreds of school assemblies I attended, this is the only one I remember.
I wonder how many future adults will count the significance of the day that David Boon came to their school and spoke about World Vision.